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United States v. Trenkler

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
61 F.3d 45 (1st Cir. 1995)


On October 28, 1991, a bomb exploded at the Roslindale, Massachusetts house of Thomas Shay, Sr., killing one member of the bomb squad and severely injuring another. Thomas Shay Jr. and Alfred Trenkler (defendant) were charged with the bombing. Trenkler was tried separately from Shay Jr. The prosecution contended that Trenkler had built the bomb for his friend Shay Jr. to use against his father. The prosecution also sought to admit evidence of a similar bomb built by Trenkler used in a bombing in Quincy, Massachusetts. The prosecution contended that striking similarities in the two bombs showed that Trenkler also built the Roslindale bomb. The bombs were similar in components, design, and construction. The prosecution also brought in testimony that a computer database of explosives which stored information on bomb characteristics identified the two bombs as similar. The district court ruled the evidence admissible. Trenkler was convicted and appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stahl, J.)

Dissent (Torruella, C.J.)

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